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Ballard, Lady Canes power past Darlington in opener

In the seventh inning of a Cartersville softball game that was all but decided already, Colbi Ballard decided to add an extra punctuation mark.

Behind Ballard’s four-hit, 106-pitch complete game in the circle, and a grand slam at the plate, the Lady Canes (1-0) defeated Darlington (0-2) 15-4 in the season opener Saturday afternoon in a game that was all but over after the fourth inning.

After jumping out to a 4-2 lead after three innings, Cartersville had its first big inning, tallying four and putting the game out of reach.

Those runs came with two outs, too, with Short singling in Paris Poston and an errant throw from Darlington scoring Lauren McElhaney for McElhaney’s third run of the game.

Short in particular had a fantastic day at the plate, going 3-for-5 all on singles with four RBIs.

A Ballard double scored two more, and the writing was on the wall.

But Cartersville decided to have a little bit more fun, notching eight more runs in the seventh.

The Lady Canes notched five hits in a row in the seventh, with Cio Seigler getting things going with an RBI single and Short coming through with an RBI single.

Ballard, who finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, seven RBIs and a home run, launched a bases-loaded blast, and with it, Cartersville comfortably garnered its first win on the year in its first game.

Presley Edwards added a 2-for-4 showing with three RBIs.

Cartersville outhit Darlington 17-4, and an error and five bases on balls helped Darlington push across four runs, despite the heavy hit differential.

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